Qualcomm, a San Diego-based high-technology company that was founded in 1985, on Monday said it had filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that is designed to raise about $50 million.
Qualcomm will offer its stock “at between $14 and $16 per share,” according to Qualcomm Treasurer Dick Grannis. Qualcomm’s IPO will include 3.5 million shares of common stock, of which 2.8 million shares would be sold in a domestic offering. The remaining 700,000 shares will be sold in a concurrent international offering.
Proceeds of the domestic and international offerings will be used for “working capital, debt retirement and general corporate purposes,” Grannis said. Qualcomm’s directors and officers, who hold the majority of Qualcomm’s stock, will retain a controlling interest after the proposed offering, Grannis said.
The company lost $1.4 million on $61 million in revenue during the first nine months of 1991, Grannis said. Qualcomm reported a $17-million loss and $46.5 million in 1990 revenue. Qualcomm has about 600 employees in San Diego.
Almost all of Qualcomm’s revenue is generated by OmniTracs, a mobile communications system that has been well-received by the trucking industry. However, some electronics industry observers believe that Qualcomm is well-positioned to become a major player in the cellular telephone industry.
Qualcomm’s role in the rapidly growing cellular industry will be determined largely by validation tests under way in San Diego on a proprietary Qualcomm software system. Qualcomm’s software program would allow cellular telephone operators to cram more calls into a finite number of radio frequencies.
Qualcomm’s Code Division Multiple Access technology is competing with another digital technology called Time Division Multiple Access. If the validation tests are successful, Qualcomm would begin selling its proprietary software to manufacturers of cellular telephone systems and hand-held cellular telephones.
Qualcomm was founded by Irwin Jacobs and Andrew Viterbi, who in 1968 founded Linkabit, a Los Angeles-based high-technology company that moved to San Diego in 1980.